Misadventures with Miso

Misadventures with Miso

Friday, July 20, 2018

Shinjuku on a Sunday

So I was in Shinjuku to do a little shopping. On a Sunday. While Shinjuku looked basically the same, something was missing.

That was the crowds of younger people that normally crowd the streets. Instead the people walking the streets had a more conservative, sedate appearance. There were still a good number of tourists in the shops.

As I wrote in my previous post about Shinjuku shrines, I walked a different way to Marui Annex. Near Golden Gai I saw a couple of interesting buildings. 

This building clad in puzzle pieces houses an izakaya restaurant. 

Underfoot was notice that Godzilla provides free wi-fi for Shinjuku. 

While ahead I noticed another bit of architecture. 

This curious attempt of a neo-gothic facade is for a karaoke building.

Of course I also noticed sakura blooming here and there. 

I'm sure I have posted photos of Marui Annex in prior posts. What I didn't post was something at KERA Shop. Unlike most of the shops where photos are not allowed, the shop clerk let me take a photo of these iron gates. Which use to adorn the Moi-même-Moitié shop. Which I visited back in 2010. So a little nostalgic here. Along with finding out the shop clerk also went to the Moi dix Mois birthday lives and was astounded by the throwing of the roses. Fun moment there.

So what did I buy? Sorry the photos are not great but hotel rooms in Tokyo are not known for their lighting. At one of the shops in Marui Annex I finally got a pair of Yosuke USA shoes. I love them! Very comfortable. I want a pair in white but I don't think they sell them any more. 

Unfortunately there wasn't much available at KERA Shop for Moi-même-Moitié since this was right after the company became under new ownership. I did end up with two pairs of over the knee socks. I like these socks. They hold up well and do not slip down. I also bought a smart phone case because I wanted the omake item. 

Moi-même-Moitié hair pins! Difficult to tell from this photo but the one has a blue rose with beads. I had wanted this for a while so I was happy to finally get it. 

I also had to get some KitKats. Marui Annex has a nice shop on the first floor with regional foods. It's a good place to go if anyone is looking for items to bring home for gifts or to enjoy themselves. I got a box of the Sake KitKats again. They changed the box and I think the flavor was changed a little also. The other box is Zeitaku Matcha hot springs luxury KitKats. The green tea used is suppose to be high quality. I've tried a number of match KitKats over the years so I almost didn't get these. But the cats won me over.

I also bought the limited Iyokan Orange KitKats. I admit these were my favorites of the three.

KitKat puts sakura flowers on their limited springtime offerings. I thought it was cute how they had different styles for the packaging inside. Including what looks like an orange daruma.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Shinjuku Shrines

One day I headed to Shinjuku to do some shopping. I went a different way and came across a very large torii.

In between the large modern buildings of Shinjuku is Hanazono Jinzo, a Shinto Inari shrine.

Impressive komainu or karajishi, as a near by sign calls them, were cast in bronze in 1821.

They were donated to the shrine and in 1984 designated material cultural property by the city.

While the outer torii is concrete colored, there are also Inari red torii along with many lanterns along the walk to the shrine.

The space for the shrine is actually rather extensive for Shinjuku. Vermilion trimmed buildings along with lovely light pink sakura. The name of the shrine, Hanazono, means flower garden.

This shrine has been moved a few times over the years, as many shrines have been. The current site was granted in 1648. Of course the buildings have been rebuilt since then.

The kami enshrined here are Uga no Mitama no Kami, Yamato Takeru no Mikoto, and Ukemochi no Kami.


While the offices for the shrine look rather sedate, the Shaden captures everyone's attention.




Besides kami and sakura, it seems there are crows that one has to watch out for.

Of course there are smaller shrines in the complex. Itoku Inari Shrine, known for a couple of things including this row of torii.

Since it was raining I didn't get a good look around.

That is some security on the chouzubachi. Maybe because of the crows?

The Inari foxes, kitsune, were really adorable with their little kits.


I was trying to keep my camera from getting rained on. Which means I did not take many photos. So here is the shrine with more kitsune. While I noted what was above, I will pass on sharing that here in my blog.

Another large torii on a different walk way.

Along with two more guardian komainu.

I have to say I was a little surprised at how large this was given that it appears hidden among the department stores and office buildings in Shinjuku. In Tokyo, sometimes it's worth turning a corner. You never know what you might find.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Kyu Furukawa Gardens part two

Below the house and rose garden at Kyu Furukawa there is a large Japanese garden. Designed by Ogawa Jihei, also known as Niwashi-Ueji, known for his landscapes in Kyoto at that time.

Most of the garden can be seen from a viewing shelter in between the house and the garden below. 

Which was a nice place to rest from walking, where some enjoyed a snack and others waited to see if they might get a little something to eat. 

Steps and paths led down to the garden below. 


To the pond with it's many bridges including this, the Houseki-bashi. 


The pond is in the shape of the character for kokoro, , which is a rather complicated kanji character. The usual translation is "heart" or "mind" but it means more than just that. Perhaps soul or inner being would be more correct?

Along with the stream that feeds the pond, there is also the otaki, waterfall. 

The feeling at this pond does bring into mind one's inner self. Reflective and calm. 


One of the stone bridges that pass over parts of the pond. 

 There are a number of tōrōs, stone lanterns, on the property.

Along with a moss garden that gives a lovely view of the house. 

Not all of the sakura trees were in bloom yet. 


Around the garden were a number of structures like this gate. 




Another feature of the garden is this marvelous karetaki, dry waterfall and stream. It really looked like a little gorge carved by the passing water. 






 One of the denizens of garden, getting a little spring sun.

 Looking down at the chashitsu, tea house.

Near the end of the day for my visit to Kyu Furukawa Gardens. A place I hope to visit again some day.